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October 2009 – Kris Walter

Kris Walter is Greening Greenfield’s Hero of the Month. When she purchased her 1919 bungalow on West Street, one of the first things she did was get an advanced MassSAVE energy audit.

Based on the audit’s infra-red scans she contracted with MassSAVE to top off missing or settled insulation in the exterior walls. The house was noticeably warmer that winter. A few years later Jubb’s Impove-A-Home replaced her old single pane windows with Energy Star double pane windows, and again the house felt noticeably warmer that winter. But the most notable improvements were yet to come.

“I met the Cozy Home Performance team at a Greening Greenfield workshop last year, and was impressed with their knowledge and enthusiasm. Based on their own thorough energy audit, they provided a prioritized list of recommendations & estimates for extensive air sealing & insulation measures to improve my home’s energy efficiency. When their work was done they had decreased the uncontrolled drafts in my house by 30%, & increased my attic insulation to 18” of cellulose. That work coupled with the installation by Tognarelli Heating & Cooling of a new high-efficiency furnace radically transformed my still drafty old house into a warm & comfortable home last winter.

There were structural benefits to the work as well because now there were no more ice dams forming due to heat loss from the roof edges of the attic, & no more melting snow that then leaked into the exterior wall, soaked the wooden skeleton of my house & showed up as puddles on my bedroom floor.

When summer came the air sealing & insulation made as dramatic a difference in my ability to keep the house cool without air conditioning as it had in keeping the house warm in the winter.

Building code required the removal of all knob & tube wiring in the attic before the cellulose insulation could be blown in, which added substantially to the cost & time of what was already an extensive project, but I got a great 4% equity loan through Greenfield Cooperative Bank that made it possible to do it all at once.

I’ve increased my comfort & the marketability of my house, & reduced my need for fossil fuel. I feel really good about all of that.”

Think Global, Act Local EarthThrives tells the story of what is Green, Sustainable and Local for the Pioneer Valley, MA!